Aswar Rahman's campaign for mayor of Minneapolis is probably going to get weird

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Aswar Rahman is running for mayor, and you should probably start paying attention.

 "Yo," it begins, and with that we're off and running.

As a first-time candidate with absolutely no name recognition, it is incumbent upon the campaigner to force the press and public to pay attention. 

Aswar Rahman has done so by issuing a press release that leads with the slang word seen above, and gets no less exciting from there:

"Yo, you fourth estate residing, fedora with a piece of paper wearing, fast typing, poor diet having, paper-nerds:"

In a normal press release for political office, this part would say "Dear members of the media." Or maybe nothing. But this is not a normal press release, yo.

For example:

"I'm running for Mayor and you should cover it."

Here, Rahman reveals he's a one-man shop, both candidate and communications manager. Underfunded candidates usually conceal this by writing in the third person. But then, the third person rarely insults the reader for his or her "poor diet" or being "paper-nerds."

Rahman continues:

"After I run the campaign as I plan to run it, not only will I win, but the DFL will be changed to its core."

We are 34 words into the Aswar Rahman campaign, and already he has 1.) taken office and 2.) rebuilt the 72-year-old party that currently holds all six of Minnesota's statewide offices. Take that, Hubert Humphrey!

How Rahman will change the state Democratic party "to its core" is not yet clear, and won't be, because we're moving on to the biographical section of the Rahman for Minneapolis candidacy.

"I'm young (23 after March)."

[Under breath.] Shitshitshitshitshitshit this explains everything don't do this, you've got your whole life ahead of you kid...

"I graduated from the UofM at 19. I staffed for Rybak for three years."

Right, about that. Later in this very same press release, Rahman will link to a story in the Southwest Journal about his budding political career. That story includes the following passage:

“I have more time in the mayor’s office than Jacob Frey,” [Rahman] said, referring to the Ward 3 City Council member who made his candidacy for Minneapolis mayor official earlier this month.
Reached via email, Rybak said he didn’t remember Rahman, but Claudia Fuentes, who worked as a policy aide to Rybak, said couldn’t forget the day she got a cold call from a teenager who said he wanted to learn about City Hall and would volunteer for any job.

If the full extent of your background in public policy is having worked for a very popular mayor, and then when you throw said very popular mayor's name around, he says --

 

-- maybe you should ease up on using that name for the time being, eh?

Rahman informs the "fedora with a piece of paper wearing" press that he has "written and directed eight feature films" (more on that later) and also owns a web design firm. 

Then he says he's the grandson of a general in the Bangladeshi Army, and the son of an immigrant single mother. And here, at the end of its first paragraph, we press are presented with what sounds like a hell of a story, the kind that readers -- and potential voters, especially the liberal softies in a city like Minneapolis -- might want to know. Would that Aswar were telling it here. 

Instead we get:

"I lived in a house without heat in the winter leading up [to] the Polar Vortex (had to leave when it hit). I was raised on the bus stops of this city."

This is sounding like an old Atmosphere song (street cred!) covered by Bryan Adams (street cred revoked). Next sentence?

"I am on a warpath to end its rising un-affordability and push back the spike [in] violent crime."

Sounds great. How do you do propose to do that, Aswar?

"I have laid out the most thorough plan of any mayoral candidate in the city's history, formed around ten objectives, built on a detailed 200-week plan. Over the coming weeks, these central points will be augmented with comprehensive action-plans for specific, major issues affecting the city."

So you have the "most thorough plan" in the history of Minneapolis, but also you're adding to it, and for now we should just... wait here for it? And you'll let us know when it's ready? Or, more likely, when we are ready for it?

"My team and I have been waging an aggressive, shrewd campaign that is already starting to see rewards."

Like this press release. This press release is great!

"Prominent figures in city politics are meeting up with me, organizations and activists are doing the same, and the coalition is starting to form."

...and it will continue to start forming, one learns, at Rahman's official campaign kick-off event at the Phoenix Theater in Uptown at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 

Now, say you're cool with the mayor you have (Betsy Hodges), or feel strongly about one of the other, more prominent people running -- DFL Minneapolis Rep. Raymond Dehn; Frey, the city council member; Black Lives Matter activist Nekima Levy-Pounds, to name three -- or even, simply, that you're not sure a 23-year-old who gives equal credit for his childhood to a single mom and various bus stops... but you are looking for a brooding young actor poised for a breakout role in a local production.

Look no more!

(One caveat: His schedule is very busy right at the moment, and might be for the rest of 2017... through November 7, anyway. After that, he should have plenty of free time.) 


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